USA – Trump protects doctors’ conscience rights on abortion
Pro-Life groups are applauding President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for creating a division of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) that will enforce, “laws and regulations that protect conscience and prohibit coercion on issues such as abortion and assisted suicide.” According to the OCR website healthcare workers can now file complaints when they experience coercion or discrimination of any sort. President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement, “This Administration realizes that abortion is a highly controversial, brutal act against unborn children and their mothers and affirms the right of all Americans not to be forced to participate in abortion.”
USA – Abortion giant seeks revenue in gender-confused minors
Pro-life group activities have managed to shrink abortion rates in the U.S. and tighten regulations. For this reason Planned Parenthood (PP) is looking towards a new source of revenue – hormone ‘sex-change’ drugs for minors – despite the warnings and regrets shared by former transgender persons and many mental health professionals. PP insists on their website that feeling confused about your gender is not a sign of mental illness or stress and no letter from a therapist is needed before starting treatment. Evidently PP is not concerned about the regrets young people would face after mutilating healthy body parts.
USA – More abortion workers change their minds
For many pro-lifers it is encouraging to hear how Myra Neyer quit working at an abortion clinic in Baltimore. It took one moment to make her realize how horrible abortion is. Myra and a co-worker cried as they cleaned up the body parts of four baby boys that a girl came to abort. The girl didn’t want to abort but her boyfriend forced her because he didn’t want children. Myra said she couldn’t handle seeing how lost and blank the girl looked after the abortion and then decided she was done with being part of the work. Myra now inspires women to choose life and shares how she is raising five children since she became a widow.
USA – New Bill protects babies born alive after botched abortions
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712) was passed this year by the U.S. House. This bill protects babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt and states that such babies ought to be transported to the hospital for care. Penalties are also in place should health professionals not adhere and allows for the mother to sue if her baby is killed by intent or neglect. Former abortion clinic workers have been witnesses to the horrible killing of babies born alive such as the case in 2013 of Dr Kermit Gosnell, who slit the spinal cords of at least ten babies.
Alternative Medicine[No news today]
India – Elderly couple seek euthanasia
A healthy elderly couple has asked the Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind, to grant them joint euthanasia because their lives are of no use. Narayan Lavate 88 and his wife Iravati 78, have no children or siblings. The couple view themselves as having “no use for society.” They argue that keeping them alive against their wishes is nothing less than imprisonment and a waste of the country’s scarce resources as well as theirs. The influence of humanist philosophy prevails in the couple’s utilitarian appeal to society. If their desire is granted the couple would consent to donating their bodies after death and whatever wealth they have to the state treasury.
Switzerland – Lobsters are above humans
The Swiss Supreme Court has declared a constitutional right to assisted suicide for the mentally ill. However, Switzerland’s enshrining of “plant dignity” into law, its outlawing the boiling of lobsters and the flushing of goldfish, but abandoning the despaired, disabled and mentally ill to go into extinction in suicide clinics, are symptomatic of our fast-eroding ability in the West to think critically, and to distinguish serious from lesser ethical concerns.
Netherlands – Dutch euthanasia regulator quits her post
Berna van Baarsen, a medical ethicist has said she could not support “a major shift” in the interpretation of her country’s euthanasia law to endorse lethal injections for increasing numbers of dementia patients. Miss van Baarsen is the second regulator to quit in just three years following Professor Theo Boer who stepped down in 2014. The latest case of euthanasia involving a healthy 29- year old Dutch woman (Aurelia) who was granted euthanasia on the grounds of suffering from psychiatric reasons revealed the “slippery slope” pitfall that exist in euthanasia safeguard models. Miss van Baarsen said it was very difficult to assess if patients with dementia were suffering unbearably – one of the criteria that has to be met before an act of euthanasia is legally permissible. Professor Theo Boer also stated in an article that euthanasia in the context of psychiatry raises complex ethical and legal problems.
Netherlands – Where will it end?
Aurelia Brouwers died at home after her request for assisted suicide for “unbearable and hopeless psychological suffering”. She wrote on her blog: “I am Aurelia, 29 years and I have Borderline Personality Disorder, chronic and complex PTSD, addiction, anxiety disorders and many more mental issues. I also spend my time fighting for euthanasia for mentally ill patients and euthanasia around the world. This state sanctioned killing of a physically healthy young woman will likely raise more concerns about the expansion of euthanasia in the Netherlands – where a woman with dementia is held down and lethally injected, alcoholics meet the criteria for assisted suicide, and there are plans to introduce it for those who have “completed life.”
IVF and Surrogacy[No news today]
Italy – Parliament passes controversial end-of-life bill
After 30 years and 3000 attempts to propose amendments, an end-of-life bill was passed by the Italian Parliament this week which allows patients to end their lives by refusing to eat and drink. It also allows patients to express binding end-of-life care wishes through a text or a video. The new legislation does not permit assisted suicide or euthanasia. However, it is clearly a momentous step in that direction. In November Pope Francis clarified the position of the Catholic Church by stressing that only “ordinary” care need be provided to the dying, not “extraordinary” care that extends life at all costs. Therefore the Catholic position maintains that eating and drinking are ordinary care, as much as hygiene. However, under the new law artificial nutrition and hydration are to be regarded as medical interventions because they are administered through health devices and, consequently, can be rejected or suspended.
USA – Trump administration moves to defend conscience rights
The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights will handle complaints related to participation in controversial medical practices such as abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide, and gender reassignment. Federal officials said the division will allow HHS to “more vigorously and effectively” enforce laws related to conscience and religious freedom. “Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren’t enforced”, said Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights. “No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice. In addition, the HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new guidance to state Medicaid directors restoring state flexibility to decide program standards. A letter rescinded 2016 guidance that specifically restricted states’ ability to take certain actions against family-planning providers that offer abortion services. The announcement was met with mixed reactions. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins praised the new measures, calling it “another moment in which President Trump’s promises are becoming realities.”
UK – Parliament to debate conscientious objection
Northern Ireland peer Baroness Nuala O’Loan has introduced her Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill into the House of Lords. “Reasonable accommodation of conscientious objection is a matter both of liberty and equality: of individual freedom and social inclusion. No one should be coerced by the risk to their careers into violating their conscience, and it is plainly inconsistent with the principles of equality legislation to exclude whole sections of society from areas of medical employment simply because of their moral beliefs. I hope this excites support from across the country that allows us to fix this deficit of legal rights and protections”. A parliamentary inquiry in 2016 found that some doctors and nurses face difficulties due to their conscientious objection to practices that they believe end a human life.
Japan – First compensation claim for compulsory sterilisation
A Japanese woman in her 60s is planning to sue the government over her forced sterilization under a 1948 law. This will be the first time that state compensation has been sought for sterilisation. The mentally disabled woman in Miyagi Prefecture was a teenager when she was forced to undergo the procedure. Like some Western countries, Japan has a dark eugenic past. A 1948 Eugenic Protection Law (EPL) was intended to prevent the births of “inferior descendants” and to foster the health of mothers and pregnant women. It provided for both voluntary and involuntary sterilisation. Doctors could apply for permission for sterilisation to a regional board if a patient suffered from a range of conditions which were believed to be hereditary. According to government statistics, between 1949 and 1994 – 16,520 involuntary sterilizations were performed. Compulsory sterilisation lapsed in 1996 with the passage of the Mother’s Body Protection Law. However, the Japanese government has refused to apologize to the victims or offer them compensation.
UK – Paedophiles on twitter trying to normalise attraction to children
An investigation by the Sun found a disturbing number of accounts on Twitter that openly discuss their sexual attraction to children. They are trying to raise awareness for what they refer to as minor-attracted persons (MAPs) who do not abuse children physically but admit an attraction. They also compare paedophilia to being gay or bisexual because it is a sexual orientation that they claim they did not choose but were born with. The accounts are said to have been shown to the National Crime Agency who requested they do not block any of them so they can continue to monitor the posts.
Russia – Government clamps down on paedophile offenses
Russia has joined Australia in a bid to protect children from paedophiles. With one accord Russia supported a bill authored by the Deputy Speaker of Russia’s Lower House that proposes life imprisonment for any sexual assault against children under 14 years of age. Covering up such crime is also punishable.
USA – LGBT lingerie shop uses 9 year-old boy as a model
House of Mann is an online shop that sells clothing and lingerie for drag queens and gay men. Brandon Hilton, who runs the shop sparked an outrage when he decided to use a 9 year-old boy to be the ‘cover-girl’ to advertise his range. The public is suspicious of Hilton having paedophilic tendencies for thinking it’s okay to model a child in clothing that invokes sexual desires. Many pro-LGBT websites have praised Brandon and see nothing wrong with this attempt to sexualize children.
USA – Legislation to lock internet for porn unless users pay fee
Some legislators in Virginia claim that online porn leads to human trafficking and the state’s assembly is considering legislation that would lock all pornographic websites on internet devices, unless the user pays a $20 fee. The bill is known as the “Human Trafficking Prevention Act.” Those who request having their devices unlocked must acknowledge “the potential danger of disabling the capability,” the bill states. The $20 fee would then go into a state fund titled the “Human Trafficking Victim Fund.”
UK – Is it legal to swap someone’s face into porn without consent?
For several weeks, a sub-reddit thread called “Deepfakes” has been saturated with doctored images that depict famous figures, mostly women, engaging in sexual acts, where their faces are believably mapped onto pornographic pictures, or videos. As Deepfakes become more refined and easier to create, they also highlight the inadequacy of the law to protect would-be victims of this new technology. The best way to get a pornographic face-swapped photo or video taken down is for the victim to claim either defamation or copyright. It’s almost impossible to erase a video once it’s been published to the internet.
UK – Citizens may soon use their passports to access pornography
Porn viewers have been warned that in a few months time they will be required to prove their age to watch x-rated videos, for example by showing their passports or driver’s licenses. The age verification process means that no one under the age of 18 will be able to view porn online. The strict law is coming into place after stats compiled by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), found that more than half of children and teenagers that had watched online adult videos had “stumbled upon it” accidentally. This is just one of many of the UK’s incoming pornography laws.
Same Sex Attraction
USA – Teen threatened to commit suicide for being called a boy name
In November 2015 the state of Alberta passed Bill 24 which prohibits teachers from informing parents when their children have joined Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) at school and allows children to impersonate the opposite sex. Instead, this bill shuts parents out of their children’s life and has caused 14 year-old Jane to nearly commit suicide. Jane is happy to be what she was born to be – a girl. But peers insisted on calling her a boy’s name even after she said she was fine with being a girl. This confusion and stress lead to Jane’s parents to take her out of school for the sake of her progress and they are pleading with the state to quit driving a wedge between parents and their children.
Italy – Doctor who was accused for defamation found not guilty
Dr. Silvana De Mari is a specialist in psychotherapy, medicine and surgery and has taken care of homosexual persons for 40 years. Dr. De Mari declared that homosexuality is a health hazard and that sexually transmitted infections are skyrocketing among homosexuals. LGBT activists said Dr. De Mari defamed homosexuals by making these statements and demanded action against her but she was cleared of all accusations on the grounds that it is impossible to determine who would have suffered injury because of her broad statement. Dr. Silvana added “If the American Psychiatric Association can establish that homosexuality isn’t a disorder of nature, they can very well establish that neither is pedophilia.”
Bermuda – Island seeks to ban same-sex marriage
Bermuda wants to be the first country to re-ban same-sex ‘marriages’ after its House Assembly passed a bill to overrule an earlier court ruling that permitted the practice. A new proposed bill wants to give same-sex couples the same legal benefits heterosexual couples have but there is opposition and the bill has yet to be decided on by the Senate.
USA – Ban on change therapy faces legal challenge
Ordinance 2017-47 is a new law aiming to ban change therapy for anyone seeking help with unwanted homosexual attractions. Liberty Counsel is a non-profit that will be challenging this ban together with Robert Vazzo and David Pickup, both licensed and marriage family therapists (LMFT) and their clients, on the basis that the ban violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutional since no person should not have to be forced to struggle with unwanted homosexual desires, if they want to change. Liberty Counsel filed suit in federal court against the city of Tampa, Florida in December last year.
Canada – Who are we talking about when we talk about prostitution?
Prostitution is now illegal in Canada and a criminal offence occurs every time sexual services are exchanged for compensation. Canada’s new prostitution laws which came into force in 2014 are consistent with laws now in place in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, France and the Republic of Ireland. In Canada, four new criminal offences target prostitution and the development of economic interests in prostitution. Those who exchange their own sexual services for compensation cannot be prosecuted for their participation in the commission of the new offences.Is prostitution itself harmful and exploitative? Or is sex work a legitimate form of labor that people should be permitted to safely engage in as a matter of personal choice? This is the polarized debate playing out worldwide as countries struggle over how to legislate the commercial exchange of sex. The arguments are largely ideological, but they lead to social discourse and influence what is researched, what problems are identified and what solutions are proposed. Those who support the Nordic model see that activity as harmful and seek to end its practice.
In the debate over prostitution and enacting the new prostitution laws Parliament identified prostitution itself as a problem and expressed concerns about the exploitation inherent in it and the risks of violence posed to those who engage in it. Those supporting the legislation expressed the belief that prostitution could not be made safe. Parliament also expressed the view that prostitution causes social harms, including the objectification of the human body and commodification of sexual activity. To protect the human dignity and equality of all Canadians, they enacted laws focused on discouraging the activity of prostitution. They describe the activity of prostitution itself as a form of violence against women and as a cause and consequence of gender inequality.
Researcher Meagan Tyler identifies three distinct types of harm to women who engage in prostitution: The increased likelihood of experiencing physical and sexual violence; the psychological harm including post-traumatic stress and dissociation; and the harm associated with the sex of prostitution itself which, she argues, dehumanizes and objectifies women.
India – Measures for the government to outwit prostitution in India
Prostitution is an illegal act where a woman consents to sexual favors in return for commercial gains. They use themselves for monetary gain without realizing the damage they are doing to themselves. Prostitutes in India usually come from the downtrodden sections of society and when they are offered large sums of money for this commercial trade many of them just give in. Whatever the cause, the whole act is totally demoralizing and strict measures have to be taken by the government to curb this ugly menace from its roots and end it once and for all. Here are some possible measures that the government can do to bring in steps to revolutionize society and remove such practices:
Government should work towards bringing in strict enforcements of law to see that no one should dare enter into such activities. Creating awareness about the bad effects of prostitution through effective social media campaigns can lead to a change in thinking and perspective. Creating mass employment opportunities for youth and the unemployed will help people drift away from such immoral acts. Along with employment opportunities, these people can be provided parallel education in the evenings. Banks that are owned by the government can allocate special funds on a temporary basis to help women in this field to fund their children’s education. A woman who is entirely into prostitution finds it difficult to come back to terms with normal living. The government should also provide a few hours of counseling sessions by experts in the field about the ill effects of being in prostitution, what effects it would have on themselves, health vulnerabilities, adverse effects on the family and reputation in society. Government can offer many such remedies by working on their needs and helping them by allocating funds and monetary support systems. They should be made to think about coming out of their ugly worlds, inspired to live life in the mainstream by educating themselves, and leading a life full of dignity.
USA – Cannabis: Brain alterations may explain feelings of alienation
New research has revealed altered brain activity in young adults with cannabis addiction. The study was carried out by Dr. Peter Manza, Dr. Dardo Tomasi, and Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda. The findings have been published in the journal of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Dr.Manza and his colleagues explain in their paper that heavy cannabis use has been linked with a higher risk of psychosis, depression and schizophrenia, disorder, hyper connectivity and feelings of alienation. The researchers focused on feelings of alienation, that is, the feeling that friends betray you and others reject you or wish to harm you. Their previous research had shown that people who abused cannabis reported very high levels of this feeling. The researchers used functional MRI’s to examine the “resting-state brain function” of the sub cortical brain regions of 441 adults, aged 22 and 35 as laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV.
USA – Volunteer to Cuddle Drug Addicted Babies
Cuddling really helps babies fighting for their lives in hospitals across the country. These special babies are addicted to drugs and snuggles from some very loving volunteers just might be the ticket to their healing. As drug addiction rates skyrocket across the country, more and more infants are suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).These infants, exposed to opioids and drugs in the womb, require a special amount of care to survive the excruciating withdrawal process. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the incidence of NAS has increased 383 percent in the United States since 2000. A Pennsylvania nurse, Jane Cavanaugh, started a volunteer program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to help, “They need human touch” she said. Maribeth McLaughlin, chief nursing officer and vice president of Patient Care Services at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh, strongly agrees. It seems to be working. According to McLaughlin, babies in withdrawal who are held regularly need less medication and go home sooner, on average, than those who are not.
Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International
Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International